Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Long TIme . . .

So I mentioned in a previous post that I got to visit a Fire Camp with my students. Way Cool experience!!!

The cheerleading coach at the school rounded up a group of volunteers to bake cookies and goodies for the fire fighters. It was a great idea! Four vehicles of students drove down to the Fire Camp to drop off the stuff.

I've never seen anything like it. An entire exit of the highway was closed to public transit to make room for the enormous camp. Our cars had to pass through three security rings guarded by CHiPs (California Highway Patrol, I believe) just to make it to the camp. As we pulled off the highway and down to the main road we saw dozens and dozens of police cars lining both sides of the road. Beyond the squad cars lay van after van of Media Vans. Beyond the vans lay acres of trailers solely devoted to ending the Fire.

After we parked and delivered the cookies a Public Affairs officer offered to take us for a tour of the camp. Of course we agreed.

He showed us a trailer devoted to organizing all planes and helicopters over the fire. A trailer devoted to the governor's office and their response to the fire. A trailer assembled just to print current maps of the fire situation. A trailer maintained for paying all the fire personnel. Their were additional trailers for the Fire Fighters to sleep in. They were kept totally dark with only a few black lights to see and air conditioning running 24/7. Massive trailers were set aside for showers and washing of the fire fighters clothes. Trailers ranged as far as we could see.

After a wonderful hour long tour of the facilities the local Fox News affiliate interviewed the students. They did a great job in their responses.

A final few facts about the fire:

- 8 days in and the state of California had spent $33,000,000 in battling it.
- Fire teams spent 5 days on the line with food delivered by helicopter.
- Each state of the union sent people to help battle the blaze.
- The fire was one of the biggest three fires in LA County in the last 20 years.
- Two fire fighters died battling the blaze.
- The blaze was set intentionally.

Friday, September 18, 2009

One Month Down . . .

Today marked the end of my first month teaching at SCCCS (Santa Clarita Christian School).

It's been great. I enjoy all 101 students. Some certainly present challenges, but what's life without a few challenges? In the last month I've experienced a smoke day, visited a fire camp, sat through multiple department meetings (English and history), written dozens of lesson plans, attended two football games, embarrassed myself in a Pep Rally, walked miles more than I ever walked last year, seen more palm trees than ever before in my life, gone swimming in two of the apartment complex's three swimming pools, visited two churches, and participated in various and sundry other activities.

Am I glad I moved? Yes. Oh, yes. This has been the best thing for me. Do I miss PA? Yes. Oh, yes. I miss the students, staff, teachers at FBCS. I truly miss the church and the friends and fellowship there. I miss my parents and the hours of fellowship spent at Barnes and Noble. There's a lot to miss, but a lot to enjoy as well.

Here I stay. I can do no other.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

The Smoke Day

Smoke at School from Ken Kistler Photography

We enjoyed half a day off on the first Friday of school as a terrible cloud of smoke drifted into our valley. The sky changed color. Eyes burned when you stepped outside. It was quite strange.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Kids Say the Funniest Things

Even here in California my students are continually causing me to crack up and laugh in class.

Today we were reading through Genesis 1-3 for World Literature. We stopped for a few minutes and discussed the importance of these three chapters for all of Christianity. Of course the girls didn't particularly enjoy the part that discussed pain in child birth.

I said, "Yes, gentlemen. A woman's pain in childbirth exceeds pretty much anything a guy might go through. It's not even worth arguing about."

Not to be outdone one of the guys piped up.

"Yeah, well I heard when a guy has a kidney stone that's even worse."

"What does that feel like?" a girl asked.

"What does it feel like! It feels like you're peeing rocks! That's what it feels like." he cried.

Now one of the girls didn't want to be outdone.

"Really! Are you serious? Yeah, that would hurt, but having a kid is like peeing a whole baby!!!"

Things kind of broke down from there.